So, the Mass Effect 3 "extended cut" DLC amending the old endings came out. It's a free add-on and I'm pretty sure it provides an auto-save right near the end of the game for those who may not have a file at the appropriate point—I was positive that I didn't, but when I booted the game up, there it was. It could be my imagination, but I'm guessing the developers included this save as part of the DLC to avoid further outcry.
Early on, Mass Effect establishes that the Citadel Council forced humanity to establish colonies in dangerous parts of the galaxy, then refused to offer aid when those colonies were inevitably attacked. The existing power structure is only interested in humanity's ability to serve as a buffer against its enemies, not in helping us thrive. Despite all this, humans get a comparatively sweet deal.
The convoluted logic of the Mass Effect trilogy's controversial ending hinges on the idea that sufficiently advanced species will inevitably create artificially intelligent life that will rebel and, if left unchecked, exterminate all organic life in the galaxy. To combat this threat, the Reapers harvest advanced civilizations, giving primitive ones the chance to flourish without being snuffed out in their infancy.
You've undoubtedly heard it by now: Electronic Arts pulled a big upset in The Consumerist's Worst Company in America tournament for 2012, besting favorites Bank of America by a majority vote of nearly two-thirds. While I think that it's telling that a video game company found its way into the voting to begin with, considering all of the potential candidates out there, the end result will change nothing.
On the latest episode of After Dark, we take on Mass Effect 3 and the now-infamous ending, share our reflections on the Mass Effect franchise, and have a spirited discussion about sexual relations. Featuring Richard Naik and Brad Gallaway, special guest Michael Cunningham on loan from RPGamer.com, plus a special appearance from Tim "Brett Favre" Spaeth.
We should have known the conclusion would be trouble. Ending a game like Mass Effect 3 poses a special set of problems, because a central attraction of Western RPGs is that their systems respond to player choice. Mass Effect and its like are the classic case of games that generate stories through collaboration between designer and player. Drawing things to a close, however, requires the hand of the developer to show, often in ways that seem unattractive.
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